Posts Tagged DIY

Sharing Ideas with the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

The Gnome Garden in the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book was a fun one to create – I’m still pinching myself that I had this opportunity to share my ideas with the world. The projects in this garden are the gnome door and the log border that lines the “veggie bed.”

Sharing Ideas with the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

When opening day came around at the big Sorticulture Garden Art Show last weekend in Everett, Wa., (about an hour north of Seattle,) fellow miniature gardeners started introducing themselves right away. It was an awesome welcome-back!

We’ve been trying to figure out the last time we set up our Miniature Garden Center Store at a garden show and, well, we decided it’s been a few years because we just couldn’t remember. So it was an extra special treat to see a boatload of old friends and customers! We also had the chance to put a face to the names that we’ve been seeing on the orders from our online stores too. Super fun! We must do that again before too long!

Here’s a photo essay of our display that we brought with us. Note that these gardens were made 3 & 4 years ago. You can compare them to the photos in the Prop Shop book to see how much – or how little, lol! – they’ve grown.

And apologies, we were so busy, we didn’t get many other photos of the booth, the miniature gardens that I made for it, (!) nor any of my fellow miniature gardeners. I guess I need to take a page from the younger generation and just have my phone out ALL the time, ready to click, click, click away! :o)

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

A birthday cake for the miniature gardener. Lol! I’ve thought of several versions of birthday cake gardens throughout the years, it was fun to finally get one of them out of my head. In this chapter, you will learn how to make that fun little garden sign and how to customize any container.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Bird’s eye view of the Deserted Island Survival garden. The projects in this chapter are the treehouse and the wee cave. Both of these projects have been out in the weather all year since they were made in 2015 and have survived.

 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

In the World Tour section of the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, we took a trip to Spain. In this chapter, I teach you how to age a resin fountain and how to create a pretty mosaic patio in a few simple steps.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Aquascaping was supposed to be one of the chapters, that’s why we have an odd number of 37 projects in the book. After killing 17 fish, I decided upon an easier version: a miniature garden that looks like it’s underwater. Can you tell it’s one of my favorite? The projects in this chapter are a sea throne and a tiny glass float.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Can you tell this is another favorite of mine? I was limited in what I could bring to this display because it sits in full sun. Many of the gardens in the book were for indoors or for shade. In this chapter, I show you how to create a miniature garden folly (back, right) and how to age and weather a miniature brick patio.

In each chapter in the book, I also go into the plant choices for each theme, why I chose them and how you can adapt this way of using the plants to help get your theme across to the viewer. Considering all the parts, plants and pieces for your theme not only raises the bar on the quality of miniature gardening that you can produce, it makes the thrill-of-the-hunt much more interesting and satisfying. After sifting through all the projects in the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, you will have a good idea of how to get the same results.

Get your autographed copy of the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book here.

Find it at a better price if you don’t need it autographed here up on Amazon (affiliate link.)

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

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Miniature Garden Therapy Mission: Spark Joy

Miniature Garden Therapy at the Old Soldier's Home

Operation Spark Joy has begun! Our first installation as The Miniature Garden Society at the Washington Old Soldier’s Home in Orting, Washington, south of Seattle.

Miniature Garden Therapy Mission: Spark Joy

I love it when a plan comes together. Now, to see if it works!

After talking to Linda for a minute on that cold, gray day in the middle of the winter, it felt like I was talking to an old friend. She was asking if I knew of a speaker that could come and talk at their big workshop day that is held every spring for the the Hill and Dale Garden Club. Who knew that that would turn into a project that, quite possibly, can “spark joy?”

I’ve always wanted to find out if a miniature garden can really deliver some garden therapy to non-miniature-gardeners if it was put in the right spot. If a full-size garden can be therapeutic for everyone, why not a tiny one too? And now that the Miniature Garden Society is established, we can make time to reach out into the community, to see what we can do with our hobby to share the joy of gardening in miniature.

So, with the help of Linda and the ladies at the Hill and Dale Garden Club, we installed a larger miniature garden in the courtyard at the Old Soldier’s Home in Orting, Washington. Here’s what happened:

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

The Hill and Dale Garden Club did the hard part: the lugging in of the trough and the potting soil. The tub is 6′ x 2′ x 2′ and it’s filled more than half-way up with chunks of styrofoam. The styrofoam won’t make it easy to move but it saves a boatload of time, money and energy not having to fill it all up with soil.

Find out more about the right potting soil to use for your miniature garden here.

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

After the mountain was in place, we dug in. I’ll be putting the instructions on this easy-mountain-install in the Miniature Garden Society!

See the MiniatureGardenSociety.org website here.

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

Steve made the silo from a beer can and straws! This side will begin to look more like farmers fields when the different thymes start to grow in.

See our different Thymes here. 

 

I made the little cinderblock fence from our tiny cinderblocks and a couple of skewers. The silo and the fence were glued on to a board which was hidden with micro gravel.

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

When Linda and the ladies installed it, they made sure it was a good height for most wheelchair-users. That need triggered the idea for some sort of backdrop for their point of view, so we built up a hill with a solid chunk of Irish Moss from my full-sized garden that needed a good home. It’ll be a great place for a picnic!

See the gray flagstone sheet here.

See the Mini Patio Mix Kit here. 

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

Linda brought some full-sized Hen and Chicks so we used them as Agave-type plants to add some great texture to the miniature garden bed.

See our full-sun plants here.

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

Layers and textures, oh my! Here’s what we planted in the trough. It’s going to get full-sun all summer, and it’s protected in a courtyard to it should be a great growing environment for the plants.

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

The patio was a bit rushed at the very end, but I don’t think anyone else noticed. The bright green chair matched the Golden Torch Barberry in the upper-left corner.

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

The Mercedes Dwarf Birch, the Goldfinch Fir and a few of the succulents were donated by Bob Fincham and Linda Maida.

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

Dueling Photographers. That’s Linda taking a photo of the finished garden. Steve said everyone was just beaming with smiles as they slowly realized what was happening. For someone who didn’t know what was going on, it must have looked strange. Lol!

 

Miniature Garden Therapy for the Old Soldier's Home

That’s Thomas, he’s a master gardener so we left it in his good hands.

 

A few of the residents gathered to watch the garden go together and some of the staff watched too. It was fun to see them respond as the garden came together. Between us, the garden club, the residents and the staff, it sounded like everyone wanted to “look after the garden” so I imagine it will be well-taken care of! We’re looking forward to going back in a couple/few weeks to see how it’s growing – and to see if it sparked joy.

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Miniature Garden Gift Ideas from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center!

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother’s Day

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

The same garden that is shown in the Mother’s Day chapter in the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book, 2 years later. That is an Abbott’s Pygmy Canada Hemlock with Dwarf London Pride below.

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother’s Day

A short blog series on creating my latest book, Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop, due to be released at the end of the month. You can see my perspective as a new craft-author and I’ll show you some of the experiments that I had to go through to get the final projects. 

It was a bit of a shock to see it. It brought a tear to my eye just like the first book did. I couldn’t answer Steve’s question for fear that I would break out in tears if I started talking. Lol! My Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book had arrived while I was in Chicago and I finally got to touch it and hold it in my hands. It is just beautiful! It’s bigger and thicker than the first book and to see all the projects all at once is still an awesome feeling. “Hey, that’s me! That’s my hand! Hey, that came out of my brain!” Lol!

(Click to enlarge the photos.)

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

The Hanging Flower Vase is in the Mother’s Day projects – you can more than a have a “little” fun crafting with Mom on Mother’s Day! 

 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

Miniature flower arranging is demonstrated in the Mom’s Day chapter as well. I couldn’t replicate the same flowers that were in the book – it’s been too cold here in Seattle this spring and I got a different set of posies to play with!

You see, it was harder than I thought. When the acquisition editor, Juree Sondker, called from Timber Press and asked if I could do a project book for miniature gardeners, I said to myself, “Slam dunk. I can do this so easily! I do projects for my blog all the time…” And then Juree asked if I could get it done in 8 months instead of the full-year they usually give writers to work out a manuscript. “Yes.” I said.

Silly me.

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

When you get your book, you can compare the photos. All the photos in the book were taken in 2015 – and the photo above was taken this week, May of 2017. The lovely Kate Baldwin did the “glory shots” in the book, I did all the project photos and filled in some of the big photos wherever needed. 

 

It was harder than I had ever thought for one or more of several reasons:

  1. The project was too simple.
  2. The project was too complicated.
  3. The materials were too hard to find for the average crafter.
  4. The project looked really stupid.
  5. The project needed way more research.
  6. The project just didn’t work out at the end.
  7. It was raining and I couldn’t take any project photos.
  8. It was too dark outside and I couldn’t take any project photos.
  9. It was too sunny and I couldn’t take any photos
  10. I forgot to include a much-needed-tool in the photo sequence.
  11. I included something that wasn’t needed in the photo sequence.
  12. I needed a reality pill.
  13. Or maybe a whole jar of them.
  14. Lol!

But, through all the whining and frustration-emails that I sent to Eve Goodman, the editor that I worked with on the book, all the good folks at Team Timber Press have really done a fantastic job of pulling it all together, from the photos to the meticulous editing, into one incredibly awesome book.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

Betcha can’t make just one!?! Different styles of hanging vases can be used for different occasions. Once you get all your materials out, you may as well make a few more for gifts too.

 

Honestly, if I saw this book in the bookstore, I would not waste my time looking at in the store, I would bring it home and savor the process of going through the pages and projects one by one. But, that’s just me. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book!

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

My favorite of the bunch. I used netting to make the texture on the outside of the vase (like the green vase above it.) I stained the whole vase afterward with Payne’s Gray acrylic paint. The bead is kept in place by winding the wire right up the top wire, and made to look like a tendril.

 

 

Reserved your copy today and you be one of the first to have yours in your hands too. As with the first book, we’re doing a limited, book-plated edition with the first 100 copies that we send out and there are only a few copies left. Order yours today here.

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

A little Christmas vase. It was fun experiment with the different flowers you can make. I put wee berries in the center of this one. The variables are endless but just make sure it’s to scale so it looks good in your miniature garden.

 

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Mother's Day

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop

Now available for PRE-ORDER! The first edition of Gardening in Miniature sold out before the book was even launched! Reserve your copy TODAY!

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Spotlight on Dori’s Miniature Garden Bungalow, from American Miniaturist Magazine

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Fellow Miniature Gardener, Dori Allard, made it on to the cover of April’s American Miniaturist magazine!

Spotlight on Dori Allard’s Miniature Garden Bungalow, from American Miniaturist Magazine!

What a treat! I’m not sure how long I have known customer and fellow miniature gardener, Dori Allard but, I’ve known her definitely long enough to call her a friend. So, when she posted this cover of April’s American Miniaturist Magazine on the Miniature Garden Society Facebook page, I didn’t immediately see her name on the bottom, right corner. I knew Dori was an avid miniature gardener but I was slow to realize that she was a miniaturist as well, until I studied the photo and I saw “Scene by Dori Allard” at the bottom. It was my turn to squeal with excitement. How awesome is that!?!

You may not believe me when I tell you that a couple of her photos that were inside the magazine looked full-size. I said to myself, “Wow, is that her studio?” and “Oh, look, she’s making another house!” Lol! You KNOW it’s excellent miniature work when you have to do a double-take to figure out if the scene is really a miniature one! Congratulations, Dori! ❤

So, in case you missed it, Dori sent me a copy of her magazine and I wanted to share. She scored 5 full pages as well as the cover! Here is a visual recap of the “She-Shed” article from American Miniaturist Magazine.

Click to enlarge the photos so you can see more of details.

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

The front porch. I love how Dori caught the light on the two women visiting, it really looks like the morning or evening sunshine. If you look closely, Dori has a miniature version of my Gardening in Miniature book on the coffee table that she miniaturized herself. She knows how to get straight to my heart, eh? Lol!

 

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Look at that color! Miniatures and miniature gardening is one way to get exactly what you want: a purple house with turquoise shutters! How fun! My husband would move out if I painted our full-size house like this but, you can have it all in small and do just about anything in miniature!

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Details upon details is what makes this project so much fun to look at. The path was made from egg cartons.

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Dori did the mosaic on the pot and then proceeded to make the geranium flowers to go in it!

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Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

This scene is the one that I thought was Dori’s full-size work space. Not. Lol!

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

And this is another photo that I thought was full-size because of the tiny house with the front porch that looks like this project. Awesome! I love the dollhouse buildings for dollhouses, they are worlds within worlds. 

 

Your Miniature Garden Center

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

As you get into the details, you can start to see just how much fun dollhouse miniatures can be. You can really make anything your heart desires and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room.

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

I love all the clutter in and around the bench. 

 

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

A miniature garden in a miniature wagon with a miniature house it in. There are worlds-within-worlds in Dori’s scene!

 

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

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Like this? Then you’ll love the American Miniaturist Magazine! It’s one of two main miniature magazines that is issued monthly, specifically for the dollhouse miniature world. The other magazine is called Dollhouse Miniatures. They are both filled cover to cover with miniature inspiration, projects, advice, inspiration and a whole lot more. I really had a hard time choosing between the two, so I might just have to get both! You can also find them at your local dollhouse miniature store, look for back issues as well as current issues for both magazines.

(I receive no kickbacks nor am I an affiliate, I just love them and know you will too! :o)

Find our more about us at MiniatureGarden.com where we spread and share the joy of gardening in miniature, since 2001. Our main store is Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center where you will find all the plants, parts, patios and pieces for your miniature gardening. Join us and thousands of other like-minded miniature gardeners for your FREE weekly newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette here.

Miniature Gardening: Go Ahead, Act Your Shoesize

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How to Plant a Miniature Garden in a Big Pot, Part 1

Miniature Gardening in Large Containers

From the Archives, 2004: Our first display at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. A good tip: pick a pot with a lip on it so you have something to grip if you have to move it or pick it up (not like most of the pots above!)

How to Plant a Miniature Garden in a Big Pot, Part 1

Miniature Gardening in Large Pots

From the Archives, 2004: This pot is 17″ high and 14″ wide and big enough to put a path through the middle of it.

Planting a miniature garden in a big container creates room for more fun, more plants and more ideas. You can visually break up your design into a couple of smaller garden rooms within that one big pot, with paths leading to and fro. You can make a huge yard with several focal points happening around the container, or have enough room for a small house or building, a particular favorite of fairy gardeners. We talk about the different kinds of pots that can be used miniature gardening in our new book Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World, but here are a few more tips on how to save some time and money – and your back – when working with very large pots or containers.

What’s Deep? What’s the Minimum?

What do we consider a deep pot for miniature gardening? Any pot that is deeper than 14″, in my opinion. We recommend at least 8″ of soil so the miniature garden can stay together for a couple/few years before needing repotting. This allows the trees and plants to grow and weave together and you still get that aged-garden-look after a couple of years that is very enchanting.

Ad-FallPlanting - 1

How to Keep Your Big Pot and Plant It Too

Another popular question when planning a miniature garden in a huge pot is, “Should I put something in the bottom before I start planting?”  Yes, and there are several reasons why you can go ahead fill that big container up with some sort of filler, leaving 8″ to 10″ from the top of the pot, before you add regular potting soil that will make you, and the plants, happier in the long run.

The miniature garden plants that we recommend to use are usually small to start with, so they don’t need a lot of soil to get growing. I find some types of plants tend to falter when planted in a huge container full of soil, as most plants prefer a smaller root environment when they are young. We call it “swimming in soil,” when the water wicks away from the plant’s roots to the bottom of the pot where gravity pulls it, and the moisture doesn’t stay around the roots where it is needed. Then the roots dry out, the plant starts to stress and falter. By using filler, it shortens the depth of the soil, prevents the water from wicking, the soil stays damp longer and the roots stay happy.

Miniature Gardening in Large Containers

From the Archives, 2004: Planting miniature gardens in large pots leave more room for creativity.

Fill ‘Er Up

Another reason to use filler on the bottom of the pot is huge pots can get really heavy. The spot you choose may be perfect for that garden this summer and into next summer but you may want to eventually move it. The two most popular ways to fill up your pots are:

Styrofoam peanuts or popcorn: Most packing peanuts are biodegradable now so put them in a plastic shopping bag, tie the bag shut and place the bag upside-down in the pot so water doesn’t get inside and stagnate. If you are using a really big pot, use several of bags-full and fill the pot up to about 10” to 12” from the top.

Miniature Gardening in Large Pots

Upside-down poly pots make a great filler. Smush them to fit them in.

Upside-down black plastic nursery pots: Start with big 1 or 2 gallon pots in the center

Miniature Garden Gift Ideas from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center!

Join us! We’re digging deeper! 

of the bottom of the pot and work in the upside-down 4” pots, squishing them so they fill in as much space as possible. You can cut a couple of pieces of cardboard and layer it on top of the upside-down pots to create the “bottom” of the pot, or you can just start filling up the pot with soil.

We’ve heard of people using upside soda-cans and they would work only if they are rinsed out really, really well. Otherwise the sugar in the soda would draw unwanted pests to your container.

Note that this is for miniature gardening with small plants. Bigger plants mean more roots. If you are creating mixed containers of regular perennials and nursery plants (aka trees and shrubs) you may want to use potting soil all through your container to leave plenty or room for root growth.

SOIL CONCERNS: Use organic potting soil with no added fertilizers or water-retaining polymers. Your miniature garden plants don’t need it and the added fertilizer will burn the roots of the miniature and dwarf conifers.

POTTING SOIL VS. TOPSOIL: Potting soil has all the necessary nutrients and micro-organisms for a contained environment. If you look closely, you’ll see rich, dark organic matter, bits of sand and perlite or vermiculite mixed in to keep the potting soil from becoming a big lump of dirt over time.

Topsoil is plain soil, without the added ingredients for pots and containers. It is used to amend the soil in garden beds where any water drains naturally. The plant’s roots have all the room they want and can find nutrients on their own.

Part 2 is here. This was getting too long and I have more tips and techniques to share here.

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More Miniature Gardening at the HUGE Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!

Miniature Gardening at Disney World

More Miniature Gardening at the HUGE Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!

Whew! I’ve been catching up on everything since our whirlwind tour to Florida earlier this month. I came back exhausted and hit a bottleneck of work so it took a couple of weeks for me to recover, decompress and collect my thoughts. So, not only did I miss blogging for a couple of weeks, I actually missed three whole weeks without publishing a Mini Garden Gazette! I remain grateful that the global economy doesn’t rest on miniature gardening. At least not yet. Lol! :o)

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop

Now available for PRE-ORDER! The first edition of Gardening in Miniature sold out before the book was even launched! Get your copy reserved TODAY!

We had a fabulous time at Disney World demonstrating three different garden designs and three different projects from my new book from Timber Press, Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Accessories for Your Tiny Living World (now available for pre-order!). This time around, we had the chance to meet all the Epcot “regulars” who didn’t get a chance to see us three years ago because we were there during Holy Week, one of the busiest weeks of the festival and the response was – AGAIN – awesome!

Shown here are the gardens that we made for Disney. I’m recreating the talks I gave in video format for our Miniature Garden Society so you can enjoy them too!

Miniature Gardening at Disney World

The “Underwater Sea Garden” turned out so well, I had to laugh at myself at the end of the demo! Debbie, the coordinator of this grand show, chose that pot for it – it was PERFECT! 

 

“You can take it with you!” I had fun modeling with this miniature garden in a trug – it’s the new handbag for Spring! Perhaps it’s time to give Ralph Lauren a call about a handbag design idea? 

 

 

And this last miniature garden demo was about entertaining in the miniature garden. We showed how to use our exclusive Mini Patio Mix Kit to create a patio that won’t wash away when you water it.

 

 

Yours Truly presenting at Epcot. Thankfully, they had an overhead camera so Phil, the camera and sound guy, was able to zoom in on my tiny projects.

Find all your plants, parts and pieces for the wonderful hobby of Gardening in Miniature at America’s First and Favorite Miniature Garden Center here.

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Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine's Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden can be loaded with decor – or kept really simple with one or two accent pieces.

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Creating miniature gardens is so much fun because you can adapt them to any
situation, any theme or any occasion. But another fun thing to do with this new-again hobby – and Valentine’s Day gives you a perfect opportunity to – is to share them. A miniature garden can easily deliver a personalized message sent straight from the heart.

If you are short on decorations, a simple accent piece can still send a huge message. A red chair, an engraved heart or ‘hugs’ rock, or this simple how-to can send sweet love to your Valentine.

Don’t have a Valentine? Then it’s a perfect excuse to treat yourself and do something YOU love!

Want to see more of the 2013 Valentine Garden? They will be posted in our February newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette. Join our email list here and get instant access to the archives after confirming through your email.

How to Make Valentine’s Day Decorations for Your Miniature Garden:

We found the package of foam hearts at JoAnns Fabrics (40% off!) to make these really quick decorative garden stakes that you can add to any miniature garden and get your message love across.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One package of foam cutouts
  • Wood popsicle sticks &/or coffee sticks
  • Paint colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper

Best selling Gardening in Miniature bookAAAAND the craft stores now carry all kinds of cutouts for every occasion! Paint the stakes to match the holiday color to make it look more polished. We tried writing on them with a small Sharpie marker, but it turned out a bit faded – the foam doesn’t accept the ink very well.

Be sure to take out the heart stakes after the 14th and wait for the wood to dry before storing them for next year. Like the miniature holiday decor, they should last for a long time if you don’t leave them out in the weather all year.

See our previous post of gift-giving ideas: The Most Incredible Gift of All Time. Make Quick and Affordable Gifts. A Miniature Garden for Every Budget.

More ideas from your  Miniature Garden Center:

– Pretty Garden Screen

Pretty Grapevine Birdath

– White Porcelain Pot Set with Saucers (really cute)

– White Arbor with Gate

– White Wooden Love Seat

– White Swan Porcelain Vase Set

– Short White Picket Border Fence

– Miniature Garden Plants for Sun or Part Sun

– Miniature Garden Plants for Shade

– Shop for Plants by Zone

valentineportrait 

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